Thursday, May 23, 2019 Game Recap and Discussion (SPOILERS)

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MarkBarrett
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Re: Thursday, May 23, 2019 Game Recap and Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by MarkBarrett » Fri May 24, 2019 12:39 pm

Woof wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 12:02 pm
I think you all need to give Nate a break. We here have the advantage of hindsight, both knowing James's history and knowing the outcome of the game. Nate, OTOH, wouldn't have realized what he was up against until he was already atop the podium (unless, of course, he'd seen an earlier game, in which case ignore everything I just said). To expect him to instantly arrive at an optimal strategy for what anyone would have to consider a 1-in-a-million chance (facing a superchamp mid-run) is a bit much IMO. At least he didn't have the typical deer in the headlights reaction. Anyway, fun game to watch. How long has it been since James last was in a non-lock game?
Nate and Laura were in the audience sitting together and watching the previous games. Laura posted on Reddit:

Thanks for watching everyone!! I feel so lucky to have been on the show, but particularly on this episode (even though I got totally steamrolled, lol). What a thriller! I can tell you that Nate followed through exactly with our strategy (we sat next to each other in the audience). I can also tell you that James is a lovely person who I hit it off with right away. What a guy!


Someone asked Laura about her conversation with Nate and she responded:

Nothing terribly revolutionary, but we knew that the only way to beat James was to play the game his way. So we resolved to make searching for the DDs our first priority, and promised that if we got one, no matter our confidence level or how much money we had, we’d make it a true DD. You absolutely have to take uncomfortable risks to beat James, no doubt about it.

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Re: Thursday, May 23, 2019 Game Recap and Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by LucarioSnooperVixey » Fri May 24, 2019 1:03 pm

58 R (Missed Deep Six and Beat.)
DD: 2/3
FJ: :mrgreen:
LT: Exercise, Bind, Pierre

As you might expect, I did know England just from Scafell Pike. ;)

So this means James is going to hit the $2,000,000 mark on the 8,000th episode? :shock:
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Re: Thursday, May 23, 2019 Game Recap and Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by Golf » Fri May 24, 2019 1:30 pm

Woof wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 12:02 pm
I think you all need to give Nate a break. We here have the advantage of hindsight, both knowing James's history and knowing the outcome of the game. Nate, OTOH, wouldn't have realized what he was up against until he was already atop the podium (unless, of course, he'd seen an earlier game, in which case ignore everything I just said). To expect him to instantly arrive at an optimal strategy for what anyone would have to consider a 1-in-a-million chance (facing a superchamp mid-run) is a bit much IMO. At least he didn't have the typical deer in the headlights reaction. Anyway, fun game to watch. How long has it been since James last was in a non-lock game?
Actually it quite simple to arrive at the optimal strategy when in this case you learn how many games a champ has won especially when combined with his average winnings per game. It's obvious he's the better player so you have to maximize every single opportunity. Maybe a 10 second thought process.

MarkBarrett wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 12:39 pm
Nate and Laura were in the audience sitting together and watching the previous games. Laura posted on Reddit:

Thanks for watching everyone!! I feel so lucky to have been on the show, but particularly on this episode (even though I got totally steamrolled, lol). What a thriller! I can tell you that Nate followed through exactly with our strategy (we sat next to each other in the audience). I can also tell you that James is a lovely person who I hit it off with right away. What a guy!


Someone asked Laura about her conversation with Nate and she responded:

Nothing terribly revolutionary, but we knew that the only way to beat James was to play the game his way. So we resolved to make searching for the DDs our first priority, and promised that if we got one, no matter our confidence level or how much money we had, we’d make it a true DD. You absolutely have to take uncomfortable risks to beat James, no doubt about it.
So according to Laura, they had a 2-part plan. 1, search for DD's. 2, Go TDD every time. They had the right plan, if Laura speaks the truth, Nate simply didn't execute. Which doesn't mesh with her stating they followed through exactly with their strategy. And I'm sure he's still kicking himself for this.

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Re: Thursday, May 23, 2019 Game Recap and Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by gnash » Fri May 24, 2019 1:35 pm

Woof wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 12:02 pm
I think you all need to give Nate a break. We here have the advantage of hindsight, both knowing James's history and knowing the outcome of the game. Nate, OTOH, wouldn't have realized what he was up against until he was already atop the podium (unless, of course, he'd seen an earlier game, in which case ignore everything I just said). To expect him to instantly arrive at an optimal strategy for what anyone would have to consider a 1-in-a-million chance (facing a superchamp mid-run) is a bit much IMO. At least he didn't have the typical deer in the headlights reaction. Anyway, fun game to watch. How long has it been since James last was in a non-lock game?
First, as I said in one of the earlier posts, it's hard to do everything right. Nate was a great competitor who deserves tons of respect. But a mistake is a mistake, and any idea that he didn't have the required information to make the correct decision is outright wrong.

It was a Thursday game, so we know Nate had seen James play 3 games before. Also, he knew how many games and how much money James had won. Also, statements reported in other posts make it clear Nate had the required information and processed it properly. It seems he had the right plan and everything, he just didn't have a plan of how to stick to his plan.

BTW, anyone who considers the prospect of facing a superchamp mid-run a "1-in-a-million chance" needs some remedial J! math. There have been 8000 episodes of J!, which means a little over 7000 regular games. More than 1% of the regular games involved Ken Jennings! Even if Ken were the only opponent from hell in the history of the game, the standard frequentist statistical approach already has the 1-in-a-million wrong by 4 orders of magnitude. And, of course, there have been quite a few players of extraordinary caliber, and the probability of facing them has been higher since the 5-day limit was lifted, which is for the more recent half of the show's history. So, realistically, the probability of facing a beast of a returning champion is somewhere in the 3-4% range and no reasonable estimate can be lower than 2%. That doesn't sound like something to ignore.

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Re: Thursday, May 23, 2019 Game Recap and Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by opusthepenguin » Fri May 24, 2019 2:02 pm

MarkBarrett wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 12:39 pm
Someone asked Laura about her conversation with Nate and she responded:

Nothing terribly revolutionary, but we knew that the only way to beat James was to play the game his way. So we resolved to make searching for the DDs our first priority, and promised that if we got one, no matter our confidence level or how much money we had, we’d make it a true DD. You absolutely have to take uncomfortable risks to beat James, no doubt about it.
Thanks for that. (Huh. I guess I am speaking to you. Fine, but I'm not making eye contact.) This supports my hunch that Nate knew what he needed to do and just couldn't make himself do it. I have every sympathy with that dilemma.

It's also nice to know from your other quote that some contestants felt they had very positive interactions with James (other than the part where he picked up their rear ends and said, "I believe this is yours.") Laura has a great attitude and I really appreciate her thoughts. Her ability to laugh about the experience and speak enthusiastically about the positive aspects speaks well of her character.

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Re: Thursday, May 23, 2019 Game Recap and Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by opusthepenguin » Fri May 24, 2019 2:09 pm

With everything else to discuss, did we forget to note that James' average has dipped below Roger Craig's erstwhile record? He's down to a mere $76,582 per game.

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Re: Thursday, May 23, 2019 Game Recap and Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by John Boy » Fri May 24, 2019 3:11 pm

opusthepenguin wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 2:09 pm
With everything else to discuss, did we forget to note that James' average has dipped below Roger Craig's erstwhile record? He's down to a mere $76,582 per game.
By all means, let's take up a collection. :roll:

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Re: Thursday, May 23, 2019 Game Recap and Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by opusthepenguin » Fri May 24, 2019 6:04 pm

John Boy wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 3:11 pm
opusthepenguin wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 2:09 pm
With everything else to discuss, did we forget to note that James' average has dipped below Roger Craig's erstwhile record? He's down to a mere $76,582 per game.
By all means, let's take up a collection. :roll:
That seems like the compassionate thing, but perhaps this is the time for tough love. Make him earn his way back to the higher spot. It's the only way he'll learn.

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Re: Thursday, May 23, 2019 Game Recap and Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by Steppenwolf » Fri May 24, 2019 6:24 pm

twelvefootboy wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 1:18 am
I'll go on record as saying Nate's DD bet was just about right. He was dominating on the buzzer and a nice built up lead from SJ. A potentially hard (it was very hard IMHO) 2K question. If he misses it, he still has a pathway to reach FJ with a lead. 50/50 odds that someone else finds the DD3, and his gameplay was good for additional house edge.
Although it appears contrary to the prevalent thought here, I tend to agree with twelvefoot on this. Yes, the opponents are well aware that James is a juggernaut. But if you believe you are roughly equal with him on buzzer speed.... which Nate had reason to believe .... then I think his wager was not bad, and perhaps gives better winning chances than an all-in bet on a bottom-of-the-board question. (I assume that most of the people voting for the all-in wager would give Nate a neglible chance of coming back to win the game if he misses it).

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Re: Thursday, May 23, 2019 Game Recap and Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by CyrusChan » Fri May 24, 2019 8:23 pm

opusthepenguin wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 8:43 pm
CyrusChan wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 8:19 pm
Absolutely, have to do it. A normal game wager to hold lead was 6k but all the chips is the way to go. Too late now. the 7k would have been enough to take a higher total going into the final, correct?
Correct. Nate wagered $6000 of his available $13400 on DD2. The extra $7400 would have put him $2000 ahead of James going into FJ. (And there would have been nothing James could've done about it. When James found DD3 he went all in. There was nothing left on the table to add.) So Nate could've held back up to $1999 on DD2 and still had enough to beat James AT HIS OWN GAME without needing James to slip up at any point. He didn't need James to miss the Carpathian mountains. (I certainly did. I waffled between Caucasus and Urals without liking either.) He didn't even need James to make one of his funny date-reference wagers that wins him a little less than he could have made. He just needed to play the game as though he was up against James Holzhauer and not one of the thousands of other contestants that he could have easily beaten.
Yeah, Caucasus came to my head first but I knew that wasn't correct, using a bit more time than James did and immediate agreed once he said.
The geography ones haven't been hard lately. I
Daily Doubles should be going all-in, going forward. You have 15 seconds and just yourself to answer. the definition of, it's all yours.

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Re: Thursday, May 23, 2019 Game Recap and Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by davey » Fri May 24, 2019 11:18 pm

brick wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 10:26 pm
threearruda wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 8:16 pm
FANTASTIC game.


Judges table: Probably a long shot, but any chance "eighty-six" gets accepted on DD1? I know the clue mentioned something to do with the sea so likely not, but I thought eighty-six could refer to throwing something away too. Thought it was worth an inquiry, thanks in advance.
Not a chance. 86 is a restaurant term and it’s meaning and origins are well known. Totally unrelated.
The important part of the clue was "Owing to the traditional location of a grave..."

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Re: Thursday, May 23, 2019 Game Recap and Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by cinemaniax7 » Sat May 25, 2019 12:13 am

The temptation as a regular J! watcher and reasonably competent J-board member is to think, Okay, James is good, but I could compete with him. After all, most of the material that he's plowed through is standard J! knowledge. Indeed, in most of his games, there are a couple of clues that seem obvious to me but prove to be triple-stumpers or, on rare occasions, elicit an incorrect response from him.

When it comes to categories, James clearly is prepared for all the usual suspects: geography, history, sports, Bible, movies, pop music, etc. However, his breadth of knowledge across many categories is truly impressive, and we rarely see him struggling to pull an answer out of a hat when he rings in. His mind is very, very quick, and I think it's this attribute as much as anything that makes the game seem effortless for him.

And then every few days, James astounds me with a correct response on a clue that doesn't even remotely ring a bell for me. I've lived in Tennessee for thirteen years, and I've driven through the Smokies more than a few times on my way to North Carolina, and I don't recall ever hearing of Clingmans Dome. At times like these, I count it as a blessing that I haven't received The Call in the current season.

Has there been any discussion on the board of James's "weaknesses"—i.e., gaps in his knowledge? (There obviously aren't many.) Has anyone done an analysis of his games to reveal patterns? I'd like to see something along these lines, but I possess neither the time nor technical prowess to pull the information from the Archive.

I know James has mentioned in interviews that he's not well versed in current politicians. (Neither am I.) And recently, he seemed to disappear during an art history category, including a surprising triple-stumper involving Manet's work being the inspiration for impressionism, but I don't recall whether art has been a problem area for James as a rule. I have noticed, however, that many of the literature clues he's picked off could be answered with a fairly basic knowledge of movie adaptations. There's nothing wrong with that; the ability to respond correctly in one category because of adjacent knowledge acquired in another field is an important skill for any good contestant. I just wonder whether James possesses the same depth of knowledge in literature that he displays in, say, geography and sports.

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Re: Thursday, May 23, 2019 Game Recap and Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by Spum » Sat May 25, 2019 1:24 am

All Nate had to do was listen to Alex at the start of the game when he pointed out that James’ average was above the previous record game. No math needed. That 7.4k difference is going to haunt him for a long time.

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Re: Thursday, May 23, 2019 Game Recap and Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by davey » Sat May 25, 2019 9:32 am

cinemaniax7 wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 12:13 am
The temptation as a regular J! watcher and reasonably competent J-board member is to think, Okay, James is good, but I could compete with him. After all, most of the material that he's plowed through is standard J! knowledge. Indeed, in most of his games, there are a couple of clues that seem obvious to me but prove to be triple-stumpers or, on rare occasions, elicit an incorrect response from him.

When it comes to categories, James clearly is prepared for all the usual suspects: geography, history, sports, Bible, movies, pop music, etc. However, his breadth of knowledge across many categories is truly impressive, and we rarely see him struggling to pull an answer out of a hat when he rings in. His mind is very, very quick, and I think it's this attribute as much as anything that makes the game seem effortless for him.

And then every few days, James astounds me with a correct response on a clue that doesn't even remotely ring a bell for me. I've lived in Tennessee for thirteen years, and I've driven through the Smokies more than a few times on my way to North Carolina, and I don't recall ever hearing of Clingmans Dome. At times like these, I count it as a blessing that I haven't received The Call in the current season.

Has there been any discussion on the board of James's "weaknesses"—i.e., gaps in his knowledge? (There obviously aren't many.) Has anyone done an analysis of his games to reveal patterns? I'd like to see something along these lines, but I possess neither the time nor technical prowess to pull the information from the Archive.

I know James has mentioned in interviews that he's not well versed in current politicians. (Neither am I.) And recently, he seemed to disappear during an art history category, including a surprising triple-stumper involving Manet's work being the inspiration for impressionism, but I don't recall whether art has been a problem area for James as a rule. I have noticed, however, that many of the literature clues he's picked off could be answered with a fairly basic knowledge of movie adaptations. There's nothing wrong with that; the ability to respond correctly in one category because of adjacent knowledge acquired in another field is an important skill for any good contestant. I just wonder whether James possesses the same depth of knowledge in literature that he displays in, say, geography and sports.
I don't see any weaknesses in James that he should find particularly worrying. I didn't know the Manet response (and I have a poster of one of his paintings on my wall) so I didn't find the triple-s particularly surprising. I've noticed he's let 2 theater clues go by in recent days, one classic and one contemporary (and Pierre could have been intuited if you know War and Peace) but he shows no hesitation in going to those categories (especially if he thinks a DD may be hiding there) and seems just fine with J's perennial references that are likely to show up in a DD or FJ...

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Re: Thursday, May 23, 2019 Game Recap and Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by cinemaniax7 » Sat May 25, 2019 12:38 pm

davey wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 9:32 am
I don't see any weaknesses in James that he should find particularly worrying. I didn't know the Manet response (and I have a poster of one of his paintings on my wall) so I didn't find the triple-s particularly surprising. I've noticed he's let 2 theater clues go by in recent days, one classic and one contemporary (and Pierre could have been intuited if you know War and Peace) but he shows no hesitation in going to those categories (especially if he thinks a DD may be hiding there) and seems just fine with J's perennial references that are likely to show up in a DD or FJ...
His get rate on FJs is simply astounding.

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Re: Thursday, May 23, 2019 Game Recap and Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by BaneWilliams » Sat May 25, 2019 12:50 pm

This game had me excited for a chance at seeing the dethroning of James. While it will likely be a big mistake which undoes the champion, it’s been a while since he has had to deal with any kind of threat.

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Re: Thursday, May 23, 2019 Game Recap and Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by alietr » Sat May 25, 2019 7:44 pm

John Boy wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 10:50 am
I was so excited to see---finally---a competitive game after five weeks of blowouts. Thanks to both James and Adam for a great one.
This. Very much this.

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Re: Thursday, May 23, 2019 Game Recap and Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by davey » Sat May 25, 2019 8:12 pm

alietr wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 7:44 pm
John Boy wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 10:50 am
I was so excited to see---finally---a competitive game after five weeks of blowouts. Thanks to both James and Adam for a great one.
This. Very much this.
Yeah, except his name is Nate... :?

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Re: Thursday, May 23, 2019 Game Recap and Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by MollyQMurphy » Sun May 26, 2019 12:16 pm

Some might find this interesting. Another board I'm on does a lot of math analysis of games, and we've been discussing James' run.

The WizardofOdds broke down Nate's 2nd DD bet versus what James and Nate would have to bet at the end, and discusses the game theory at some length, along with several other mathematicians (and non-math members) in the thread.

I tried to bring the chart graphic here as an insert, but the file is too big, so please check the link below if you're interested in the math.

https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/questio ... post720763
Pending...

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Re: Thursday, May 23, 2019 Game Recap and Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by mgiusto » Wed May 29, 2019 10:32 am

The way I see this one is that if Nate and Laura talked about a game-plan to take down James they should have also agreed that if unsuccessful they would split 2nd & 3rd place money after the show so each of them would leave with $1500.

With that deal in place and only because you are up against James, you need to make it a true DD on that 3rd DD, if you get the answer wrong you gave it your best shot but if you get it right???? Game over and you took down the champ! It is definitely worth the risk, especially if the plan was to take James down.

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